HPV tests detect the virus that can lead to genital warts, abnormal cervical cells or cervical cancer.
What is HPV?
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease. There are more than 100 strains of HPV and some can lead to genital cancer.
What is HPV testing?
HPV testing identifies whether you have one of the strains of HPV that can cause cervical cancer. The test requires a sample from your cervix and can be done from the same sample as a Pap smear. The procedure is usually painless.
You will receive either a positive or negative result from this test. A positive result means that you have one of the cancer-causing strains of HPV. A negative result means that you do not have a cancer-causing strain of HPV.
Your doctor may recommend a vaccine for cancer-causing strains of HPV. This vaccine prevents you from contracting only the strains of HPV that cause cancer. It is administered in three doses over an eight-month period.
More About HPV Testing
Women can be tested for the HPV virus as part of a routine Pap smear. Currently there is not an HPV test for men. Testing is recommended for the following groups of people:
- Women 30 years and older
- Women with more than one sexual partner
- Women who have symptoms like genital or common warts or genital lesions
- Women with weakened immune systems due to HIV/AIDS or, who take medicine that lowers their immune response
Colposcopy: A closer examination of your cervix more closely, using a magnification tool
Biopsy: A sample of your cervix, which is viewed under a microscope.
Abnormal cell removal: A procedure to take out the abnormal cells in your cervix, which could prevent those cells from developing into cancer
You may need to go see a doctor who specializes in cervical cancer care for evaluation and treatment.